Mama's Garden: Denita Paul
As things around the world continue to change, there are some things that will always remain consistent and beautiful. That consistency and beauty can be found in the dedication a woman has for keeping her family uplifted.
Today, our #MillennialMama is Denita Leon-Paul. As an entrepreneur, Denitas business, The Neet Shop produces the most divine candles you will ever smell. And on top of running her own business, Denita makes sure she has enough time to be a loving wife and mother to her family.
SF: Tell me a little about yourself and your family.
Denita: My name is Denita, and I am 23 years young. I am a Christian, a wife, a mother, an artist, a songstress, and I’ve recently added entrepreneur to my repertoire. I am the proud owner of The Neet Shop, which carries a collection of natural soy, hand poured “Neet” Candles. In 2009, I met a fine chocolate man by the name of George who became my husband just December of last year. We have 2 beautiful kids that make up the LP Squad. My daughter Amerah, who is a Princess and part-time power ranger, is 3, and my son Junior, who is full-time ladies’ man, is 2. They mean everything to me.
SF: Tell us about your pregnancies.
Denita: A woman’s body is something else, you hear me? During my first pregnancy, I learned how amazing my body is. Apart from the aches, pains, migraines, weak bladder, and weird cravings for chocolate and hot fries, I enjoyed my pregnancies. I’d love to have 1 more (hopefully my husband reads this) [Laughs].
SF: What is it like being a #MillennialMama and wife? How has your upbringing influenced your role in your family?
Denita: Being a Millennial Mama & wife is a beautiful thing. I am still young and of course, have a lot to learn and it truly takes a village. I come from a long line of strong women, and I go to them for advice in regards to my marriage, motherhood, and the new journey of being saved as a Christian. My mom and dad got married and have 5 kids together so, I come from a huge family. I love having siblings and we are pretty close in age. They are my best friends, and I wish to provide my kids with the same feeling of community I had growing up.
Being a #MillennialMama & wife is a little tough somedays if I’m being totally honest. Sometimes I second guess myself. I wonder if I am doing everything I’m supposed to do as a mother and wife. I mean..it doesn’t really come with a handbook or any “How to” YouTube tutorials. But I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. And I am always calling on my village for support because they always have my back.
SF: What woman has been a huge influence in your life?
Denita: Collectively and Individually, ”The Hillery Sisters” aka my mother and her sisters. They are a huge influence in my life for a lot of reasons. The way they love one another and stick together is so admirable. They are all devoted Christians, wives, and mothers. I strive to be everything they are as a #MillennialMama.
SF: How did you connect to yourself and the world while you were pregnant?
Denita: I did things that made me happy and calm: I listened to nature soundtracks while painting, reading, and praying.
SF: Spiritually, what changed when you became pregnant?
Denita: At the time of my pregnancies, I wasn’t saved but I did learn at an early age that prayer changes things. I prayed a lot more when I was pregnant. I always prayed the Lord gave me strength mentally, physically, and emotionally to carry my babies. I also prayed that my body would be able to carry HEALTHY babies. I would pray for their hearts, minds, Souls, limbs, sight, personalities, and characteristics way before they were even born.
SF: How important have you become to yourself while being a mama?
Denita: Now that I am a mommy and wife, I’ve learned that it’s so easy to forget about myself sometimes. From balancing a full-time job, keeping my husband happy, working out, doing laundry, potty training, teaching the kids with fun activities, preparing breakfast and dinner, and keeping my house a HOME, putting myself last has just become the norm. However, just recently I have realized how important it is to carve out some me time at least 10 minutes a day.
I’ve learned to have the babies wait. If I have a book in my hands that means I am not to be disturbed [Laughs]. I’ve learned to ask my husband for help around the house sometimes. I’ve learned to try new hobbies, which is how I came across making candles. I have just learned to have some time for myself throughout the day. I find that when I’ve had my “me” time, am all around a happier gal and everyone else is happy too. When mommy is in a better state of mind, everything flows so beautifully.
SF: What positive seeds are you planting in your children's lives?
Denita: First and foremost, I want to instill in my children the power of prayer and only what you do for Christ will last. So I make sure I pray with them and they hear me talk to God on a daily basis. They hear me singing on the praise team at church and they see me reading my bible. This is one of the biggest seeds I feel I can plant in my children’s life. I also want to teach them to always be respectful, rise above their emotions no matter what is said or done, and to always treat people the way you’d have them treat you.
SF: How are you revolutionizing your self-love?
Denita: I am revolutionizing my self-love by just simply taking time out of my day for Denita. I have gotten back to working out for myself. I want to keep myself sexy (for my husband) but mainly for me. I wake up a little earlier in the morning before work to put on a little makeup for myself because it makes me feel cute. I persuade myself to pick up a new item every now and then and tell myself NOT to feel guilty because I deserve it.
SF: Do you have advice for mama’s-to-be?
Denita: For all my mama’s-to-be I would like for you to remember a couple of things because being a mommy does not come with a handbook. Here are some words of encouragement…
Even the “best” parents don’t know what the heck they are doing. They are just winging it [Laughs]. God’s blessed us with “mommy intuition”, if you THINK something is wrong then 9/10 it is. You’ll most likely need a nap just as much as the babies. And most importantly, remember that asking for HELP is a great thing. You’ve never done this before and it doesn’t come with a YouTube tutorial or handbook. It takes a village, so make sure you have one.